Several years ago, I stopped taking hormonal birth control—and didn't get my period for 10 straight months. Acupuncture got things flowing again, fortunately. And now, after 80-plus months of pretty-much-like-clockwork lady business, I'm convinced that my period-tracking efforts should get some credit along with those needle-wielding pros. Just as a food diary makes you more mindful about what you're eating and keeps you focused on your nutrition goals, tracking your flow feels like a menstrual feedback loop.
But never did I think: Oh, my boyfriend should be in on this as well. Until now.
The reason? A new period tracker that brings your partner in to your menstrual inner circle, so to speak—the MyFLO app from women's hormone expert Alisa Vitti. Because when you're trying to be consciously coupled, let's face it, hormones are important.
But push notifications? About my period? After more than 10 years together, you could say that he already knows way too much about my monthly cycle—thanks to towel-on-the-bed sleeping and, you know, sharing a small, one-bedroom apartment in New York City.
So I figured we might as well embrace menstrual realness—after all, he's the person who runs to the bodega in the middle of the night for...emergencies.
Here's what happened when I shared every bloody thing about my cycle with my partner.
TMI or bust
Since I didn't really know my luteal from my follicular phase, MyFLO's updates became daily must-reads for me. (Vitti, the best-selling author of WomanCode, is known as the "hormone whisperer" for a reason—and she shares her expertise generously with this app, the first period tracker to offer up advice on how to balance your hormones and have a healthier menstrual cycle.)
And then I became that person, who says things like, "Did you know that your ovulation cycle is the best time to pitch an idea or ask for a raise?" (To my friends: I'm sorry.)
As for the email newsletters sent to my partner: The instructions are thorough. There are super-specific suggestions, like what time of day is best to have sex and what—exactly—to do. (One sample, from the follicular phase email, when your testosterone is at its lowest: "Be generous and take your time. Is there a new position you’ve been talking about trying? What about role-playing? Let your imagination run wild and see what develops.")
A bonus: relationship real talk
Non-getting-busy intel is a part of the package, too, including date-night suggestions and general life-coaching. Let's just say the app eliminated the need for us to have exchanges that involved the phrase: "If you just tell me what you need, I'll do it."(Phew!)
For example, here's an excerpt from one of the emails it sent my boyfriend when I was ovulating: "The verbal center of her brain is positively affected by all the increase in estrogen, so it’s the perfect time to get out and be social with friends, as well as an ideal time to talk to each other about things that are important to your relationship’s growth."
The hormonal how-to's (and the constant focus on my body and what it needs) did inspire a real shift in consciousness.
Did we heed all of its advice? Not exactly. We're not the type of couple who reads the instruction manual thoroughly before the shelves go up, you know?
But the hormonal how-to's (and the constant focus on my body and what it needs) did inspire a real shift in consciousness. As Vitti often says, the 24-hour male hormonal cycle is the one the world runs on, for the most part.
"I wanted to make something that would truly elevate a woman's relationship with her cycle, her body and give her a sense of how powerful her body is—that her hormones have never been her weakest link or liability, but that they are in fact her superpower and major reliable, predictable, asset," she explains.
When you're tuned in to the 28-day cycle going on in your body, you're more aware of the interplay between your monthly internal rhythm and the day-to-day cadence of everyday life. And, as they say, knowledge is power.
Fine-tuning that inner frequency is reason enough to start tracking your period—but having your boo on board takes it to another level. We weren't playing out down-and-dirty app instructions on demand (Go for a quickie! Break out the sex toys!), but it did help him see the world through my eyes (and my endocrine system) a bit more.
For more ways to cultivate a closer connection with your S.O., try these LTR tips or adopt the one wellness habit that can transform your relationship.
Loading More Posts...